Darien does it again
NEW HAVEN — The story remained the same.
But this journey was more nerve wracking.
The Darien girls swim team kept its tradition intact as the Blue Wave rolled to their sixth consecutive Class L championship Tuesday night at Southern Connecticut State university’s Hutchinson Natatorium.
Darien completed the evening with 729.5 points to hold off Cheshire (666.5). Wilton was third with 486 points, just nipping New Canaan (482.5), while Pomperaug (356) was sixth.
“We had to fight so hard for this title,” Darien coach Marj Trifone said. “I felt like we had a 25-point spread coming in but we were even with Cheshire in so many events. Cheshire gave us a great challenge but our girls responded.”
Cheshire fought on despite getting disqualified after taking third place in the opening event, the 200 medley relay. That cost the Rams about 52 points.
“I’m glad we won by a bigger margin (63 points) than Cheshire lost on the DQ (52),” Darien’s Trifone said. “I never want to win a title on a DQ. We would have conceded the title and plaque to Cheshire if the DQ was the difference. I am thankful our girls performed as they did.”
Cheshire coach Dan Mascolo was classy after the meet.
“We qualified a good number of swimmers into the State Open so we’ll have another shot,” Mascolo said. “In reality, our girls swam as well as they could. Darien is just a great team that had another great evening.”
In a friendly battle for FCIAC bragging rights, Wilton nipped New Canaan by just 3.5 points for third place.
“In my mind, the margin was too close. New Canaan swam well to close the gap down the stretch,” Wilton coach Todd Stevens said. “It’s fun to finish this well and our final relay capped it off nicely for us.”
In the 200-yard medley relay, New Canaan out touched Darien for first place, 1:48.46 to 1:48.71. Cheshire was third but got disqualified.
In the 200 freestyle, the FCIAC was shut out as Cheshire High junior Elizabeth Boyer won in a new Class L record time of 1:50.97.
New Canaan picked up the most points from the Class L diving by finishing first, third, sixth and eighth. Darien divers finished 5th, 9th, 12th and 14th.
After five events, Darien (252 points) led the way. Cheshire (211) was second followed by Wilton (169), Amity (151) and New Canaan 142.5.
In the 100 butterfly, Cheshire junior Elizabeth Boyer won her second event of the evening in 55.95. Darien junior Isabel Blaze (57.88) was third.
In the 100 yard freestyle, Dale won her second event of the meet, motoring in 51.25, just off the Class L record. Pomperaug senior Gwendolyn Strickland (52.43) was third.
In the eighth event of 12 in the meet, Cheshire senior Cameryn Guetens won the 500 yard free in 4:56.48. Darien junior Carly Rutledge was third in 5:05.29.
Cheshire placed three swimmers in the top five in the 500 free. After eight events, Darien still led the team standings with 467.5 points. Cheshire 416.5 was second with Wilton (350) in third. New Canaan (305.5) was fourth.
In the 200 yard free relay, Darien edge Cheshire to win in 1:38.23. Cheshire clocked in at 1:38.42 while Wilton took third in 1:39.59.
In the 100 backstroke, Darien senior Phoebe Slaughter won in 58.40. Immaculate/Bethel senior Caroline Beal (58.97) was third.
In the 100 yard breaststroke, Darien’s Christensen won in a new state record time of 1:01.93. New Canaan’s Lizzy Colwell, the defending champion, was second in 1:04.00. Cheshire senior Lily Kurtz was third.
It stretched Darien’s lead to 79 points over Cheshire heading into the meet’s final event.
Cheshire fought to the end, winning the 400 free relay in 3:31.51 just ahead of Darien (3:32.34) and Pomperaug (3:35.16).
Class L championships at Southern Connecticut
1. Darien 729.5; 2. Cheshire 666.5; 3. Wilton 486; 4. New Canaan 482.5; 5. Amity 370; 6. Pomperaug 356; 7. Hand 339; 8. Hall 294; 9. Lyman Hall 244; 10. Wethersfield 206; 11. South Windsor 170; 12. Immaculate/Bethel 144.5; 13. E.O. Smith 124; 14. Bristol Eastern 111; 15. (tie) Newington and Fitch/Stonington 96; 17. Middletown 80; 18. New Milford 60; 19. Mercy 58; 20. Bristol Central 40; 21. Maloney/Platt 31.
Winners and regional swimmers among top six
200 medley relay: 1. New Canaan (Caroline Sweeney, Lizzy Colwell, Bridget Haley, Madeleine Smith) 1:48.46; 2. Darien (Lauren Picard, Leigh Harrison, Isabel Blaze, Cassandra Maroney) 1:48.71; 4. Amity (Molly Cox, Megan Lasto, Katherine Alvarado, Amanda Hendrick) 1:52.33; 6. Wilton (Morgan Dill, Ellen Holmquist, Emma Babashak, Katie Stevenson) 1:52.81; 200 freestyle: 1. Elizabeth Boyer (Cheshire) 1:50.97 (Class L record); 4. Gwendolyn Strickland (Pomperaug) 1:53.28; 5. Phoebe Slaughter (Darien) 1:53.84; 200 IM: 1. Kaki Christensen (Darien) 2:02.42; 2. Lizzy Colwell (New Canaan) 2:06.21; 4. Carly Rutledge (Darien) 2:09.21; 50 freestyle: 1. McKenna Dale (E.O. Smith) 23.17 (state record); 3. Taylor Loud (Wilton) 24.95; 4. Madeleine Smith (New Canaan) 25.21; 5. Leigh Harrison (Darien) 25.26; 6. Cassandra Maroney (Darien) 25.27; 100 butterfly: 1. Elizabeth Boyer (Cheshire) 55.95; 3. Isabel Blaze (Darien) 57.88; 6. Katherine Alvarado (Amity) 58.70; 100 freestyle: 1. McKenna Dale (E.O. Smith) 51.25; 3. Gwendolyn Strickland (Pomperaug) 52.43; 5. Caroline Sweeney (New Canaan) 53.52; 6. Taylor Loud (Wilton) 53.84; 500 freestyle: 1. Cameryn Guetens (Cheshire) 4:56.48; 3. Carly Rutledge (Darien) 5:05.29; 200 freestyle relay: 1. Darien (Phoebe Slaughter, Cassandra Maroney, Carly Rutledge, Kaki Christensen) 1:38.23; 3. Wilton (Morgan Dill, Katie Stevenson, Emma Kauffeld, Taylor Loud) 1:39.59; 4. New Canaan (Madeleine Smith, Audrey Adl, Gwenyth Thalacker, Alexandra Yee) 1:40.28; 5. Pomperaug (Katelyn Oemcke, Sarah Belden, Margaret Flaherty, Gwendolyn Strickland) 1:41.07; 100 backstroke: 1. Phoebe Slaughter (Darien) 58.40; 3. Caroline Beal (Immaculate/Bethel) 58.97; 4. Caroline Sweeney (New Canaan) 59.02; 6. Hallie Perrin (Pomperaug) 1:00.60; 100 breaststroke: 1. Kaki Christensen (Darien) 1:01.93; 2. Lizzy Colwell (New Canaan) 1:04.00; 5. Leigh Harrison (Darien) 1:05.68; 6. Ellen Holmquist (Wilton) 1:07.86; 400 freestyle relay: 1. Cheshire 3:31.51; 2. Darien (Lexi Punishill, Phoebe Slaughter, Carly Rutledge, Kaki Christensen) 3:32.34; 3. Pomperaug (Sarah Belden, Margaret Flaherty, Hallie Perrin, Gwendolyn Strickland) 3:35.16; 4. New Canaan (Caroline Sweeney, Alexandra Yee, Abby Condon, Lizzy Colwell) 3:36.41.